Bat Melech

You know I don’t ask you guys for like, anything. Sure, we’ve raised money to help end sex trafficking in Israel. We’ve raised money to provide food for poor Jerusalem families on Passover. But that was us working together, right? It wasn’t me pushing anything on you, it was more like me letting you know about an amazing opportunity. Well… with Rosh Hashana around the corner, you have a smaller and smaller window of opportunity to do good deeds to make up for all that crazy stuff you did all year. You know what I’m talking about – don’t even try to feign innocence.

This Rosh Hashana I thought it would be really neat to help out this organization called Bat Melech. Bat Melech is an amazing organization that runs 2 battered women’s shelters in Israel that cater specifically to religious Jewish women and their specific needs. These are in fact the only 2 such women’s shelters in the country, period. Consequently they are always at capacity and there is a waiting list of people trying to get in.

But why a religious women’s shelter? Well, religious women and their children have particular needs. The women coming in for assistance usually come in with an average of 5 kids. They of course also need a kosher and Sabbath observant environment, one that is not automatically provided by the conventional state-run shelters. Some of these women remain in abusive domestic situations for fear of having the state-run facilities as their only recourse – they fear being penalized in divorce proceedings for exposing the children to a non-religious atmosphere.

Of course Bat Melech is more than just a shelter. It provides everything from psychological care to children’s activities to social workers and vocational training to assistance in court proceedings to transitional apartments and so on. Bat Melech has even published booklets on healthy relationships and shidduchim in order to be proactive in educating the community about warning signs. This goes a long way toward explaining why Bat Melech has the lowest recidivism rate of any shelters in the country. Bat Melech allows stays of two months to one year, with the the average stay lasting about six months.

There are plans and hopes to double the capacity of the Jerusalem shelter (at a cost of $700,000 – the other shelter is in Beit Shemesh) to put a dent in the waitlist, but they run a frugal and cost efficient operation, possessed of the mindset of a start up. These are good people. I wouldn’t be writing this if they weren’t. And they always need money. So dig deep. Pull out your shekels and help support the important work of this organization.

Even if you just post this article as a tweet or a facebook status or whatever, that would be a great help! We have a whole mess of social media sharing buttons all over this page – use them!

But yeah, cash is cool too – Bat Melech is also able to provide tax receipts for deductions in the US, the UK, Canada and Israel. So go on, help these women out today and have a happy Rosh Hashana with your family and your apples dipped in honey, and, you know, a God that is more likely to forgive you for that thing you did (you know that thing I’m talking about!) because you helped out someone in need.

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.